We’re less than 24 hours away from J. Cole’s forthcoming album KOD, a project that’s presumed to be the takedown of the rap’s current fascination and addiction to drug culture. Announced on Monday (April 16) along with a two pop-up listenings in London and New York, those in attendance have confirmed the artist is an entirely different Cole this time around.
Each of Cole’s LPs have showcased a abstract vantage points with his previous platinum-with-no-features album 4 Your Eyez going the concept route. If time has shown us anything, it’s that Cole’s process is more unpredictable than we’d like to admit. So far, the rapper has only provided the world with a few tidbits. The album’s cover and tracklisting was released Wednesday (April 18), with the album’s designer sharing with us how KOD has “multiple meanings.”
With some information disposed to us (’cause the internet), here are some things we know about the very wondrous project.
Editor’s Note: 8-11 were added after the release of the album.
1. KOD Has Three Different Meanings
Cole’s New York show might’ve been announced at the last minute, but DJ Booth’s Ryan Payan attended the listening where the rapper shared how KOD equates to Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed and Kill our Demons. From the looks of the album artwork, the meanings make sense. There’s also the fan theories that KOD could also be a subtle ode to his roots with the title, King of Dreamville.
Cole helped solve some of the riddles with the release of his KOD album trailer on Thursday (April 19).
2. J.Cole Could Pull A Jay-Z and Annihilate The Druggy-Mumble Rap Culture In One Song
Digitally flipping over the album’s artwork leads us to the tracklist with some very interesting tunes. There’s “ATM,” a possible double entendre that could mean the money machine or “At The Moment.” Given the possible theme, it makes sense to point to the latter. Drug trips bring you blissful highs at the moment of inception, leaving you wanting more. There’s also “Once an Addict (Interlude),” that can bring more jabs towards the fascinations around drugs. Jay-Z’s “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune), did a number of the second wave of auto-tune in the 2000’s, so there’s no telling what Cole’s words might do the current wave of drug raps lead by the likes of Lil Xan, Lil Yatchy and Trippie Redd.
3. kiLL edward Feature Might be Himself
Pointed out by Genius, edward might be a hint towards Cole’s alias. “Tidal Wave (just a little reference)” was released just a day after his album announcement. With kiLL edward being the only “feature” on the album, it’s likely he’ll be competing with himself on the tracks.
4. The Album’s Closer “1985” is an Introduction to Another LP
Cole hasn’t provided much information on this
conspiracy theory tidbit, but TDE’s co-president Punch made our head spin with his post above. With just the caption “4bidden,” fans have speculated that this could mean the Kendrick Lamar + Cole collaborative project is nearly within our reach.
5. The Album Was Made In Two Weeks
Yes, it is true: J. Cole made this album in two weeks. He allegedly only went back in to perfect three songs. It’s suggested this album could be a classic.
6. Smokepurp Claims He’s On The Album/Cole Says There’s No Features Other Than “kiLL edward”
Smokepurpp previously claimed that he has a verse on Cole’s new album, and reiterated his statements in an Instagram post (April 16). Fans at the event say they did not hear any other guests on the project other than Cole. While it could be another case of trolling from Purpp, we won’t know for sure until Friday. If you recall, Purpp and Lil Pump released a diss record called “F**k J. Cole,” which they admitted later was a troll to get the rapper to react. Cole has yet to respond to the controversial track.
7. It’s A Different Cole In Terms Of Flow (Says He Had A Message From God)
Fans may be in for a surprise with this album. According to DJ Booth’s Ryan Payan, the album will feature a lot of vocal experimentation as well as a multitude of 808s.
8. Cole Might’ve Responded To Smokepurp & Lil Pump On “1985”
In what seemed to be a conversation between Cole and one of the “lil’s” of today’s rap scene, the rapper drops gems while calling out the lifestyle of one-hit-wonders and where it can lead them. In reality, it’s a PSA to all of those who’ve doubted Cole’s lyrical clap backs and a reminder to fellow contenders to come correct. Pump cared enough to share his thoughts on his Instagram story, calling Cole a “lame a**” for “dissing a 17-year-old.”
9. The Flow On KOD Is Reminiscent To “Old Cole”
Early fan reactions called Cole’s flow on KOD, different but it seems as if the rapper was returning to his roots. With the groove of Native Tongues, the rapper’s beat selection was enjoyable and reminiscent to tracks via The Come Up and Friday Night Lights.
10. Cole’s Richard Pryor Sample is Deeper Than Rap..And Comedy
Cole is a student of the culture which extends beyond rap. With the late comedian’s Live on The Sunset Strip opening “Brackets,” the song finds meaning in the power of money and what it also does to the ego.
11. Children and Gun Violence Is Painfully American
Cole’s addresses the youth and gun violence several times throughout KOD, including “Friends,” and “Window Pain (Outro).” It’s a similar theme heard on 4 Your Eyez Only as he spoke to a child Fayetteville about her turbulent life. It also speaks to America’s ongoing about fact to the connection between poverty and violence, especially in lower income black/brown neighborhoods. With Cole never ignore the topic in his music, we’re hoping it hits the right ear that will implement change.